On Wednesday evening, around 800 people gathered at the Ireland Funds Gala Dinner in Washington DC. Just before St. Patrick’s Day, the Gala Dinner happens. An exclusive black-tie event that starts at $1,000 a plate. The guest list included former Irish President Mary Robinson, US Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, among others. Before the Ireland Funds Gala Dinner, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar talked to the media, and emphasized the strong links between Ireland and the United States. In particular, in supporting peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network that supports Irish charities and causes. The annual Gala Dinner in Washington DC is one of its most prestigious events. Irish and American dignitaries, business leaders, and philanthropists attend the said event. Over the years, the dinner become a symbol of the strong bond between Ireland and the United States. It became a platform for promoting Irish culture, business, and politics, as well.
The Gala Dinner’s Newsworthy Past: Leo Varadkar
The Ireland Funds Gala Dinner has had its fair share of newsworthy moments. In 2020, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar went back home to Ireland due to its COVID-19 situation. He announced a lockdown the next day, which made headlines around the world.
Last year, it was Micheál Martin, the then Taoiseach, who was whisked out of the room during the event after testing positive for COVID-19. This year, Varadkar will be hoping for a smoother evening, with no unexpected interruptions or announcements.
Luxury and Glamor at the Gala Dinner
Despite the serious topics discussed at the Gala Dinner, the event is also known for its luxury and glamour. Attendees dress in their finest black-tie attire and are treated to a sumptuous meal, fine wines, and entertainment. For this year, an open bar, a three-course meal, and entertainment at night were offered to the guests.
At the 31st National Gala in Washington DC, Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar speaks of the power of the @TheIrelandFunds in supporting communities across the island of #Ireland and thanks those gathered for their ongoing commitment. “Together we are writing the story of peace.” pic.twitter.com/YkwdZATOwI
— The Ireland Funds (@TheIrelandFunds) March 16, 2023
- For many, the Gala Dinner is a chance to socialize with like-minded people, make new connections, and have a good time.
Ireland Funds Gala Dinner: A Celebration of Unity and Peace
But beyond the luxury and glamor, the Ireland Funds Gala Dinner is a celebration of unity and peace. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s speech emphasized the strong bond between Ireland and the United States, particularly in supporting peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
He praised the Good Friday Agreement, which marked its 25th anniversary this year. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar considers it as a moment when “the island of Ireland agreed to create a new future based on peace, powersharing and respect.”
- He also acknowledged the crucial part that the United States bridged to help build peace in Ireland.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Looks Forward to President Biden’s Visit
Varadkar ended his speech by expressing his excitement for President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Ireland, where he will be greeted with a red carpet and warm hospitality. “We’re going to roll out the red carpet and we’re going to be making sure that he feels very welcome,” the Taoiseach said.
Watch: St Patrick's Day 2023 ☘️
Celebrating a Century of Peacebuilding
100 years after independence,
we know that peace is not just the destination,
but the path we walk
Lá Fhéile Pádraig
This is #GlobalIreland 🌍🇮🇪https://t.co/qTodAHxr59 pic.twitter.com/0zUixG32TR
— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) March 16, 2023
He described President Biden as “coming home,” given his strong Irish American roots, and thanked him and the United States for their support in building peace and prosperity in Ireland.
If you have any questions about the Ireland Funds Gala Dinner in Washington D.C., Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, or any news, share them with us in the comments below. Until then, stay with us here at Spiel Times for more content.